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Writing Japanese Video Game Music

San Francisco State University, Fall 2021

A college level course on the craft of video game composition. Starting with the basics of form, melody, and harmony, we go through one great soundtrack per week, and study practical techniques from a wide selection of video game literature. Drawing from exercises to hone compositional technique from classical and jazz traditions, the course provides students a strong understanding of every aspect of game composition so they can improve their skills in a methodical manner, regardless of level. Stay tuned for the 2022 Game Composition Bootcamp, which will be offered online next year.

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The Art of Pop Song

San Francisco State University, Spring 2022

In this course, we will systematically study pop music spanning six decades across different styles, starting from the 60's with Joni Mitchell all the way to the 2010's with contemporary artists such as Lady Gaga. We will analyze hit songs and study every aspect of songwriting: song structure, melody, harmony, arranging, and lyrics. Artists featured in the course include: Joni Mitchell, The Carpenters, Bee Gees, Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Richard Marx, Tears for Fears, Clannad, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Bombay Bicycle Club, Zedd, and Lady Gaga. We will also examine some of the best pop music outside of the English-speaking world, namely pop music in Japanese (enka, city pop, and anime theme songs), Mandarin, and Cantonese. Students will try their hand at writing their original songs over the semester. Knowledge of harmony is strongly recommended.